IPA water profile

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Cmross87

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I've attempted brewing a few IPA's since I started brewing and I'm not satisfied with the results so I'm thinking I need a better water profile to get it right. I've followed IPA recipes verbatim and still turn out beers that are too malty even for an English style pale, along the lines of ESB. What's the perfect what profile for an IPA? Burton on Trent?
What's the easiest and best way to adjust my water?
How do I properly test the water I brew with?
How can I make the hops stand out in my homebrew?
Fill in the blanks if you can help⬇️
Thanks!
pH: 7.8Calcium (Ca): __
Magnesium (Mg): __
Sodium (Na): __
Sulfate (SO4): __
Chloride (Cl): __
Bicarbonate (HCO3): __
 

Yooper

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I've seen Randy Mosher's ideal pale ale (same as IPA) as this:

Ideal Pale Ale ca 110 mg 18 na 17 sulfate 350 chloride 50

Bicarbonate doesn't matter, as you only need the correct amount to get your proper mash pH.

A good mash pH for an IPA is 5.4

i prefer less sulfate in my IPAs- I have one beer that is great with 350 ppm of sulfate, and most of the others are 150 ppm- 225 ppm.
 

Falcon3

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I've been putting around 300ppm Sulphate as of late, and I'm relatively unhappy with it- some of my IPAs have been pretty "chalky" and harsh on the teeth- I've bumped it down to around 200ppm and we'll see how it works.

This is what I've been working with for my last 2 brews (still in fermentation)
ca 90
mg 10
na 8
sulfate 200
chloride 50
 
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Cmross87

Cmross87

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Thanks Yooper! I'm a Michigan native myself! The glove brews awesome beer. I've noticed that MI-IPA's are a lot more malty than west coast IPA's which I'm a sucker for and trying to brew. Do you think the water profile you suggested would work the same for all IPA styles?
 

jammin

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I've seen Randy Mosher's ideal pale ale (same as IPA) as this:

Ideal Pale Ale ca 110 mg 18 na 17 sulfate 350 chloride 50

Bicarbonate doesn't matter, as you only need the correct amount to get your proper mash pH.

A good mash pH for an IPA is 5.4

i prefer less sulfate in my IPAs- I have one beer that is great with 350 ppm of sulfate, and most of the others are 150 ppm- 225 ppm.
yoop - that profile is very similar to Mike (Tasty) McDole's water profile. I think he uses it for just about everything.

Can you please expand on why you like most of your beers with a medium (?) sulfate level?
 

PlinyTheMiddleAged

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I've been shooting for 350 ppm on sulfates as well. However, I've decided to scale back on my most recent beers.

I'm a huge fan of west coast IPAs, so I need huge hop flavors. I'm getting the nice hop flavors but I'm also getting a harshness to the bitter that is common to all of the beers where I've targeted 350 ppm. As a result, I've scaled back my most recent target level to 200 ppm.

I suggest starting low-ish. You can always dose your beer after brewing (right in your glass) to see what your personal preference is. But you can't take it out.
 

jaydog2314

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Bru'n Water's pale ale profile has been giving me great results for pales/IPAs:

ca 140
mg 18
na 25
sulfate 300
chloride 55
 

bigdongsr94

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Well this is a good one. I will save this for later. +1 on the bru'n profile, that's what I use.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

boicutt

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Yooper, I'm curious what water adjustments are you using for your DFH clone / Now your modified house IPA?
 

Yooper

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yoop - that profile is very similar to Mike (Tasty) McDole's water profile. I think he uses it for just about everything.

Can you please expand on why you like most of your beers with a medium (?) sulfate level?
Well, for some I like 250 ppm, so that's not really "medium"- but I get what you're asking. :D

The best way I can describe it is that a very high sulfate level in some beers seems very drying. Not as in "not sweet", exactly, but a bit harsh in the swallow if that makes sense. Not quite astringent, either- but more like harsher polyphenols from the hops. It really depends on the recipe, as maybe the ones I do like that way have hops with less cohumulone? That's just a guess, and I haven't really researched it. I've been doing "less is more", and adding more gypsum in future batches if I feel it needs it. I think there are two recipes over the last two years or so where I really liked more sulfate.



Yooper, I'm curious what water adjustments are you using for your DFH clone / Now your modified house IPA?
I used this on the one I have on tap now:
62 ca/0 Na/8Mg/148S04/4 cl2/16 hco3. Predicted mash pH with all the gypsum in the mash- 5.39 Actual pH was 5.4. Pretty good for bru'n water!

I had this one noted on my Pliny the Toddler:
Ca 97 Mg 8 Na 8 sulfate 162 chloride 39 bicarb 87.7 pH projected 5.5


A couple of notes as I looked over this year's recipes in Beersmith-
-The BRY97 has a definite hops flavor and aroma missing in the Wyeast version.
-West Coast Ale I (Omega #OLY-004) seems to have a nice "clean" and hoppy flavor, with both malt and hops coming through- but definitely a hoppy nose.

So I think yeast strain is also important when trying to enhance hops. Some brewers prefer a much higher sulfate level. One thing that might help decided if YOU do is to make the beer with a more modest sulfate level and add gypsum to the glass as you drink. Then you'll know your own preferences.

I love west coast IPAs, with huge hops flavor and aroma, and a firm (but not harsh) bitterness.
 

Roadie

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We've used 110 Ca/18 Mg/16 Na/280 sulfate/50 chloride for most of the PA/IPA's we've brewed with good results. We shoot for a pH of 5.4 on our IPA.

Brewed the Heady Topper recipe here on HBT for the first time a couple weeks ago and went with the wisdom on that thread for the minerals which are: 172 Ca/18 Mg/21 Na/400 sulfate/53 chloride though some of those numbers seemed crazy high to me. We'll see what happens.
 
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Cmross87

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So how can each of these levels be adjusted and measured affectively? After I find out the profile of my water do I just add Gypsum to my brewing water? Lactic acid? Ph test papers?

pH: 7.8Calcium (Ca):
Magnesium (Mg):
Sodium (Na):
Sulfate (SO4):
Chloride (Cl):
Bicarbonate (HCO3):
 

mblanks2

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So how can each of these levels be adjusted and measured affectively? After I find out the profile of my water do I just add Gypsum to my brewing water? Lactic acid? Ph test papers?

pH: 7.8Calcium (Ca):
Magnesium (Mg):
Sodium (Na):
Sulfate (SO4):
Chloride (Cl):
Bicarbonate (HCO3):
Ward Labs water report
PH Meter
Bruin Water Spreadsheet

I use Phosphoric acid as it adds no additional flavors, Gypsum and Calcium Chloride. I generally shoot for a little lower PH in my IPA's of 5.2 - 5.3. I use gypsum at a level of 300 to 325 and it works well for me.
 

BrewerE

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When you use gypsum, does it affect the clarity of your beer?
 

mblanks2

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When you use gypsum, does it affect the clarity of your beer?
I don't typically pay allot of attention to the clarity of my ales, just lagers. I have noticed after a little while in the keg that my ales do clear a little more, but can't say that it is associated with the gypsum.
 

Falcon3

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When you use gypsum, does it affect the clarity of your beer?
I've gone up to 1.6grams/gallon of mash and sparge water plus my regular water for a total sulphate of 350, and had crystal clear beer.

My most recent IPA (Green flash WC IPA clone) had this profile

Calcium: 100
Sulphate: 180
Chloride: 64

It is WAY more my style- no more feeling like I'm drinking gravel.
 

TxBigHops

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I know this is a few months old, but it seems to be one of the better water profile posts I could find, so I'm bringing it back to life.

I consider myself a novice brewer, and one thing I have not yet attended to is water profile. The OP included the question - how best to test, but no one answered. Anybody?

Last two brews I've used water from the dispensor at the local grocer's which I believe is RO. Without testing (since I don't know how) where do I start? Just add Burton salts to all my mash and sparge water? How much per gallon? I brew mostly IPAs and Pale Ales.

Thanks!
 

Yooper

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I know this is a few months old, but it seems to be one of the better water profile posts I could find, so I'm bringing it back to life.

I consider myself a novice brewer, and one thing I have not yet attended to is water profile. The OP included the question - how best to test, but no one answered. Anybody?

Last two brews I've used water from the dispensor at the local grocer's which I believe is RO. Without testing (since I don't know how) where do I start? Just add Burton salts to all my mash and sparge water? How much per gallon? I brew mostly IPAs and Pale Ales.

Thanks!
No, don't use burton salts! Use the salts you will need, generally calcium sulfate (gypsum) and calcium chloride and possibly magnesium sulfate (epsom salts).

You can send a sample of your water to Ward's Lab, but if your water is iffy and you want to start with RO water, that's fine.

Then you can try a water spreadsheet to see what the effects of adding minerals are to your mash pH. In very light colored beers, you may need some acid to get the proper mash pH, even with RO water. The important thing is mash pH- the amounts of sulfate and chloride really are "to taste", just like with cooking.

You could start here if you're looking for simplicity:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=198460
 

KVANTAN

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I use the water calculator on brewers friend.com and start with distiller water from Walmart then build up from there.
 

Natdavis777

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I like to use Brun Water for my workup but built in my own profiles from various sources. As for IPAs, I prefer these ranges with RO water (with good results)

Ca:50-100 (though it can go over)
Mg : minimal
Na : minimal
Cl : 40-60
So4 : 200-250
Bicarb : N/A as isnt needed

I once did a DIPA with all Citra around 90 IBU with 350 S04 and found it left a resiny taste. Therefore, I reduced down to 200-250 and liked the end result. Dont worry about the S04/Cl ratio as Ajdelange touches up on the pitfalls of that emphasis.

Try which sulphate levels you appreciate (Id suggest starting at 150 and working your way up) and go from there.
 

AOD

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The fun part is that everyone's base water is so different...so it's sometimes hard to get matching profiles. I feel bad for the Michigan waters... I'm spoiled.

I would suggest using the EZ Water Calculator - you can google it and find it. It's quite a bit simpler than Bru'n Water. You just need to know your base water / starting point.

Cheers,
~Adam
 
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